If you are still booing Jayson Werth, then you are an asshole. Plain and simple. That’s it. There’s no cute lede here, no exploration of the opposing viewpoint because the opposing viewpoint is total bullshit. It is beyond me how this went down in the final inning of Wednesday night’s Phillies game against the Nationals:
In maybe his final at bat in Philadelphia, Jayson Werth tips his cap to the Philly fans booing him. pic.twitter.com/mOoULqCZEO
— Rudy Gersten (@DCBarno) September 28, 2017
Seriously, what the hell are we doing here?
The 38-year-old Werth is at the end of his seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals. It’s been a rough go for Werth this year. He’s hitting only .224 with nine homers and a .703 OPS, both figures represent a significant decline from his career averages. It’s uncertain whether or not Werth will play next season. The video above shows what could have been the final he time stepped into the batter’s box at Citizens Bank Park. You know, the place he helped the Phillies win a World Series. No matter, there are those “passionate” and “intelligent” fans letting Werth have it.
Werth, in case you don’t recall, was brought to Philadelphia by former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick. He showed flashes of promise during his first four years in baseball with the Blue Jays and Dodgers, but was largely a middling player. He then missed the entire 2006 season with a significant wrist injury before Gillick took a shot in the dark and brought him to Philadelphia before the 2007 season. All Werth did was hit .298 and help the Phillies as a key cog in their memorable late-season surge to a NL East crown. Over the next three seasons, he blossomed into an All-Star-caliber player as he totaled 87 homers and 88 doubles, while playing above average defense.
What about the postseason? Werth hit .444 with a 1.361 OPS over five games in the 2008 World Series. Decent numbers. Not to mention, the Phillies probably don’t even reach the World Series in 2009 when Werth hit .357 with a 1.429 OPS in the NLDS against the Rockies. Everyone remembers game four of that series with Ryan Howard’s, “Get me to the plate, boys.” Perhaps you forgot about what happened immediately after.
So here is Werth having a moment, paying his respects to the city in which he resurrected his career, and we’re fucking BOOING the guy? I know people will read this and say that response is limited to the few thousands idiots left in the stands last night, but that’s untrue. This shit has been going on between Phillies fans and Werth for years. And the thing is, the guy was RIGHT to leave. Ruben Amaro didn’t want to pay him, so he took a monster deal. The guy was only a few years removed from not knowing if he’d ever draw another baseball paycheck. He wanted financial security and to feel appreciated, and we want to crucify the guy for that? Please.
Remember when he signed that deal? We all laughed. The Nationals? What an IDIOT! The 97-65 Phillies finished 28 games ahead of the Nationals, they were assembling “The Four Aces,” and we were so sure Werth would become irrelevant in Washington. A dominant Phillies team choked away a golden opportunity in 2011 and then spent the next six seasons floating between baseball purgatory and baseball Hell, while Werth’s Nationals won four division titles and finished ahead of the Phillies every single year during the same span. In fact, the Nationals have won 106 more games than the Phillies in the seven years since Werth left town. Yup, that’s Werth’s fault. It’s most certainly not the fault of an ownership and management group that didn’t know how to spell analytics until 2014. BOOOO!
There’s no former Phillie in the history of baseball that gets a worse deal from the fans than Jayson Werth. For a group that considers itself so smart, so passionate, and so savvy, its treatment of Werth is completely embarrassing.
Kyle: As a leading booer of Werth, let me explain. He is a classic love-him-when-he’s-here, hate-him-when-he-leaves player. He’s crusty, surly, and didn’t exactly have a reputation as a “good dude.” Remember when he yelled at a father and his son in the stands? Good times. More: When he left, he continuously took passive aggressive shots at the team and then the fans, and uttered the phrase “I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again” That was in response to getting harrassed the night he broke his wrist in Washington. How do I know? I led a bus trip of 250 people that sat in right field. Werth was talking about us. Anyone who says that is a heel. They knowingly become the heel. When Werth returns for retirement nights, ceremonies and so on, he’ll be cheered, as he should, along with the rest of the 2008 Phillies. He was a fun player on a great team. But for now he’s been the enemy. My guess is he likes it that way. Boooooooooooooo.
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